What Role Should Jordan Clarkson Play for Los Angeles Lakers Next Season?

Jordan Clarkson has been far and away the brightest ray of light in a stormy Los Angeles Lakers season. But what role should the 22-year-old play in the team's future?

It is not an unreasonable question. After all, the 6'5" Clarkson was both a shooting guard and point guard in college and has played both positions during his NBA rookie campaign as well. And as far as starting versus coming off the bench—won’t that depend on the makeup of the roster after a summer of transition?

Los Angeles will have up to two first-round and two second-round draft picks on June 25, depending on the standings, and there’s also the matter of free agency.

Nobody in their right mind would start last year’s No. 46 pick over an elite guard like Goran Dragic, should the Lakers manage to nab the fiery Slovenian. And if management lucks into a lottery pick like Emmanuel Mudiay, would they sit him behind Clarkson?

Sometimes the answers are not as obvious as they initially seem.

After all, the thought of Clarkson having a better rookie campaign than No. 5 pick Dante Exum of the Utah Jazz or No. 6 pick Marcus Smart of the Boston Celtics might have been cause for unmitigated scorn last summer.

But lo and behold, Clarkson is playing heads above them both.

In a recent Hang Time Blog roundtable prediction, four out of seven prognosticators picked Clarkson for the All-Rookie team. Smart received just one vote, while Exum shot blanks.

Lakers coach Byron Scott sides with the majority, per Bill Oram of the Orange County Register: 

It’s also worth pointing out that the L.A. newbie is improving at an exponential rate—the poise he is now displaying is a far cry from his eager, headlong rushes during summer league and the early part of the season.

In December, Clarkson averaged just 3.2 points in minimal minutes as a r...

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